2/19/08

taxi gives birth to marketing

For those of you who have been reading my blog (which recently turned one year old), you know that I have been stymied by marketing options, dealing with panic attacks, and figuring out how else to make money without sacrificing time to create art.

To sum up the last year:

I finally ran out of money and swallowed reality in one big gulp. Pushed through the panic and started working out there in the real world as a cab driver. (ladies, need to lose an extra ten pounds? go drive a cab....) (people with panic, ready to break out of that mental prison? go drive a cab and be trapped with people, you either sink or swim) (artists, need some extra cash but don't want to be trapped in a building, go drive a cab and tell everyone you drive you are an artist and point out the galleries you are in as you whiz by).


So. I call this post taxi gives birth to marketing because a
few of you have had suggestions for how I can integrate my art being with my job (thank you for planting seeds into my brain). A few days ago the epiphany hit that I can at least grab the post cards I had printed last summer to mail off to all the galleries (ha, I realized no one gives a hoot so I stopped wasting the postage and time). So on the back of my post cards I have written : Artwork by your taxi driver in Stowe, VT. Today I'm going to have more printed and I'm trying to decide if I should have the picture on the card be the one above 'the birch geisha' or 'the mystic'. I also want to have postcards made with four or six clocks on it. I'm thinking on the back of the cards instead of keeping the postcard layout I will just write a blurb about myself. Anyone have thoughts on what puzzle piece to have printed?

Last weekend I drove a businessman who lives in Stowe but leaves every Monday to go back to Tennessee to work. He is a genius when it comes to marketing and saving businesses that have hit walls. He loved my idea about the postcards and told me that people want a story. It is all about them. Give them a story that they can take home. And I think he is right. The other day I picked up a suave woman from the airport, most people if they are a single passenger will sit up front with you but she said she would just sit in back and read. We ended up talking and had a good conversation about bodywork (my twenty + years of being a massage therapist came in handy), then, as is the case she asked how I happened to Vermont. When she asked what kind of art I made this time I had something to show her, I whipped out my post card and we talked more about art. I could still feel this invisible barrier between us and the conversation dwindled after a bit but I couldn't help but to overhear her when she spoke to her husband on the phone....she mentioned that her taxi driver was an artist..the tone of her voice when she said that actually sounded excited. You betcha I told her the gallery I am in. You betcha I'm gonna tell my story a million more times. So I haven't had the wherewithal to make art while working my ass off (literally), but at least I can try to sell what I have made.

Yesterday I picked up a guy from NY who was here to design the interior of a home. You betcha we exchanged info. My art might not fit into his more classical style of interior design but what have I got to lose by making contacts? It is liberating to feel like I am at least plugged in. Empowering to meet people face to face and share. Even if none of this pans out into sales I have found a different strategy and can let go of the unworking way of cold calling/emailing gallery contacting. In my heart I know there is little appeal for any of that. Were it to happen naturally I'm all for it, but I feel like I've been fishing with a flaccid worm for too long and it is time to go hunting instead.

17 comments:

Mary said...

Wow, Paula--you have made my day!!! I am so glad I checked your blog this morning. This is wonderful. You're right; whether it leads to sales or not, it certainly has changed your attitude and outlook. And I'm betting that it will lead to sales as well. Go Paula!

Mary

BlueJude said...

I am so glad that a beacon of light has shone down on you! YES YES YES, sounds like your on the right track and good things are on their way! As for the puzzle pieces, I'm a bit torn. I do like the top one a lot and am oh so glad your including your clocks as they are FABULOUS! Yay you! You actually picked up my mood a notch. Keep us posted!

Nellie's Needles said...

;-)

gigi said...

the msytic! the mystic!

what a great epiphany and what a great post. i am so happy that you have something positive and productive to sink your teeth into. you are still working on your art even if you aren't in a studio -- good stuff.

Karen Jacobs said...

This is SO exciting! You asked about images... you are a diverse artist, your captive audience is diverse, the photos you have to give out should be diverse. The puzzle pieces are so different from the clocks which only hint at the larger found metal pieces and are still different from the embedded photo works... see what I mean? You could offer several images and ask which they might be most interested in... therefore getting an idea of which direction you should focus even if it doesn't develop into sales. Good luck...

JAXTER said...

That is networking on the real level, the personal level and it is going to lead to much more than those cold calls ever would have - I am taking notes here for myself - so thanks for sharing that bit. I need to start promoting myself the way you do - what an inspiration!

Karen Jacobs said...

No doubt a few years down the road and Paula's telling how she got her big break driving a taxi for elite skiers and some young artist overhearing the story will think "Lucky dog! How many of us can get a job like THAT?" Well... it could happen!

Kim Hambric said...

Looks like positive will get you more positive. Yes, those postcards are a fantasic idea. If it were me, I would choose the Birch Geisha -- she is bright and really would jump off of that postcard. A showcase of clocks would be great, too.

What was once viewed as a blockage was "merely" a very large obstruction. You are still flowing. You are not standing still.

self taught artist said...

thanks for your responses, you make my day too...all of you. I feel like I really have some great emotional support from my readers and that helps!

Daphne said...

Go for the Geisha!

And hey, I am so glad that you have found a great venue for your postcards.

Don't forget the possibility of puzzle postcards too. It gives people something neat to take home...of course it could also be messy to build in the cab. Ah well. Still, it would be so fitting. Oooooh maybe you could just have a puzzle postcard up on your dash and people could purchase them!!!

Whoops, too much coffee. Sorry Paula!

Steve Kane said...

Hell yeah, just think of all those people passing through your cab. Word of moth: that's the name of the game. Or something.

Anyway, it's great to see you talking so positively. Dish out those postcards, baby!

Bob Johnson said...

Way to go Paula! things can only get better with an attitude like that, see what happens to the people around you, you raise their spirits, puts people more in a buying mood, never give up never surrender I always say, by the way I like The Mystic for the post card.

self taught artist said...

thx for the vote bob...ironically lately everyone falls asleep, works on their blackberry or doesn't want to talk. se la ve

Steve Kane said...

Did I say "word of MOTH"? Deary me, must watch my typing.

Then again... "Word Of Moth"... that would make an interesting title for something.

San said...

You're sounding fired up again, Paula.

WOO-HOO!!

sarala said...

What a great idea. Taxi marketing. I like it very much. I have one of your postcards tacked to a cork board in my make-messy-projects-room.

self taught artist said...

yes stever you said moth. for some reason, knowing you...i accepted it with little more than a raised brow.

san, i'm like a drowning person, my head keeps bobbing back up for air :)

hold onto it sarala...could be worth something some day :)